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December 17, 2017

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Recipe: Asparagus and avocado soup with roasted pumpkin seeds

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Picture a pack of master chefs celebrating the fall “crush,” or harvest of wine grapes, with edible splendor in the French tradition. If the vision doesn’t include vegetables, then you haven’t heard about Love & Vine. The acclaimed event returns to the Palazzo on Oct. 6, and in honor of Vegetarian Awareness Month, all the dishes will be vegetarian or vegan. Paired wines, beers and spirits will follow their lead, representing vegan, organic, biodynamic, sustainable and local ideals.

For $75 (or $135 per couple), you can taste the season’s bounty poolside from 7 to 10 p.m. at the property’s Aquatic Club. But to inspire healthy deliciousness long past the event, organizers shared this recipe for creamy, chilled soup showcasing avocado, asparagus and roasted pumpkin seeds.

For roasted pumpkin seeds

• 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds, shelled

• 1 tbsp olive oil

• 1/4 tsp smoked paprika

• salt to taste

1. Heat olive oil in a small sauté pan.

2. Add pumpkin seeds and toss until golden.

3. Set aside to dry on paper towel, then toss with paprika and salt.

For lemon whipped cream

• 1 cup heavy cream

• 1/2 tsp lemon zest

• 1/4 tsp Espelette pepper

• salt to taste

1. In a small bowl, whip heavy cream until light and fluffy.

2. Add lemon zest and Espelette pepper.

3. Salt to taste and refrigerate.

Ingredients and directions (serves 4)

• 14-16 medium stalks raw green asparagus

• 1 large avocado

• 1 tbsp chopped celery

• 1 tsp chopped garlic

• 2 tsp tarragon

• salt and black pepper to taste

• 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

• juice of 1 lemon

• 12 oz filtered water

1. Wash and peel the asparagus. For each spear, cut off about an inch from the bottom and discard.

2. Save top parts of four spears and shave them lengthwise, seasoning to taste with olive oil and salt and pepper. Set aside.

3. In a blender, mix asparagus, avocado, celery, garlic, tarragon, olive oil and lemon juice at high speed.

4. Add water to achieve desired consistency. Salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate.

5. When ready to serve, pour soup into bowls and spoon whipped cream into the center of each dish.

6. Sprinkle a few pumpkin seeds on top of each bowl and garnish with marinated, shaved asparagus.

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